Finn Helgesen, number seven out of ten siblings, was born in Drammen, but when he was seven his family moved to Strømmen, an industrial site east of Oslo. He was a promising skater, placing third in the 500 m at the national junior Championships in 1940, until World War II stopped his skating career for five years. In 1942 he married and fathered a daughter, but unfortunately his wife died from tuberculosis three years later, and he had to move with his little daughter to his parents house. In the autumn of 1945 he started to train for speed skating again, and became Norway’s top sprinter in the years after World War II. When Finn Helgesen became Olympic 500 m champion in 1948, he was a widower and single father. His time, 43.1, was a new Olympic Record and a tenth ahead of the trio sharing the silver medal. Four years later, he skated the same time as Gordon Audley and Arne Johansen, who shared the bronze medal, but because Audley had beaten Helgesen in their pair, Helgesen placed fifth. A real sprinter, Helgesen was not good enough to skate for Norway at the international all-round competitions, but at the Norwegian Championships, he won the 500 m twice, in 1947 and 1949, and made the podium five times. In 1952, he won an unofficial sprint competition held during the Norwegian Championships, with the best time for 500 m. He ended his skating career in 1956, aged 36, and was later speed skating trainer for young skaters in his club Oslo Skøiteklub for nearly 20 years. He married again in 1953 and had two more daughters and one son. He worked as a mechanic, first at Strømmen Værksted until 1960, then for the Institute for Energy Technology until his retirement.
Personal Bests: 500 – 43.1 (1948); 1500 – 2:25.4 (1952); 5000 – 9:05.1 (1951); 10000 – 18:39.4 (1951).